Aids to Optimism – Part Two

“Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm. 100: 3, 4

Some people strut their moment on life’s stage quoting, “I am the captain of my fate…I am the master of my soul.” Not!

Some live by these words of W.E. Henley in his poem “Invictus”:
“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as a pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever God may be
For my invincible soul.”

Be real! Jesus put things in perspective when He asked, “Who can add one cubit to his height….”

We do better to quote the Christian counterpart of “Invictus” written by Dorthea Day, entitled “My Captain”:
“Out of the light that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole
I thank the God I know to be
For Christ — the Conqueror of my soul.”

An attitude of gratitude is fertile soil for optimism. Exaltation is elevating. Therefore, “Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” (Vs. 4B)

William Law asked and answered his question. “Who is the greatest saint? It is not the one who prays most or who does most, it is the one who is most thankful.”

It is not the happy people who are optimistic.

It is the optimistic people who are happy.

Happiness doesn’t produce optimism, rather optimism consequences in happiness.

Do you always feel thankful?  Be real! The honest answer from all of us is “NO!” Psalm 116: 17 – 19 speaks to such an emotional moment: “I will offer You the sacrifice of thanksgiving….”  A sacrifice is something we give that costs us. Sometimes the sacrifice is thanksgiving and it costs us dearly. 

Often thanksgiving comes as an act of faith, not from elation over circumstances.  “Faith,” regards a suspicious person with an arched eyebrow. Many feel faith is a thin thread by which to be suspended. Instead it is the anchor of the soul.

Robert Jastrow, noted astrophysicist, in addressing the American Association for the Advancement of Science, noted, “For the scientist who has lived by faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.”

A counter comment is included by Martin Luther in the introduction to his commentary to the Book of Romans: “Faith is confidence in God’s grace so strong and so confident that a man will stake his life on it a thousand times.” So live demonstrating it. That is cause for optimism.